Last summer my Grandpa Morgan passed away. I went to his funeral out in Utah and was so thankful for that opportunity. I wanted to write a post to capture what I learned and what I felt as I was in Utah for my grandpa’s funeral.
My dad’s parents live in Santaquin, Utah. It’s a small Utah town with only one stoplight. While I was there, I had some time to walk by myself down the dusty roads in Santaquin and look at the beautiful mountains. As I walked, I thought about life and the promise that because of Jesus Christ families can be together forever. I began thinking about what really mattered in life — faith, love, joy, people to people connections, etc. My grandpa had just completed his journey here on earth and was now entering the next phase of his eternal progression. What mattered at that moment wasn’t his career or earthly accolades. What mattered was the person he had become, and perhaps even more important than that was the people he had helped all of us become through his love and example. I believe life isn’t just about what you make of it, but is what you help others make of it.
During the viewing, the night prior to the funeral, my heart was touched by those who came to pay their respects. Most of those who walked through the door were 70-year-old+ men dressed in clean white dress shirts and cowboy boots. My heart was so touched as they spoke of my Grandpa. However, not only was my heart touched as I heard them share how my Grandpa had affected their lives, but my heart filled with great love for these men because I sensed in them a dedication to and reverence for Deity. If my grandpa had still been alive, I am sure he could have shared with me how each one of these men had affected his life and helped him come closer to the Savior through their examples. To me, cowboy boots will always remind me of greatness — the greatness I sensed in these men who so humbly paid their respects on that night and reminded me of what this life is really all about.
My dad spoke at the funeral and thanked the members of the Santaquin 6th Ward (my grandparents’ church congregation) for the love they showed his parents and our entire family.
Today marks one year since my grandpa passed away. As I reflect back on this year, I think about how his life still affects me in seen and in unseen ways. Every Sunday, my grandparents sent out a “Sunday Thought” with a short message of wisdom for their posterity. My grandpa closed his final Sunday Thought with this message: “Carry on. Be humble and prayerful and have faith.” I don’t think he realized this would be his final Sunday Thought, but I think it’s fitting that this was his final message to us. I am so grateful for his wisdom and faith in Jesus Christ.
I find it also to be a great tender mercy that his funeral happened to be Father’s Day Weekend because this allowed me to spend Father’s Day with not only my dad but also my other Grandpa who would pass away just a few months later. All of these men have had (and still have) a great impact on my life both in ways I recognize and I am certain in many ways I don’t recognize but are known to God. I hope that I will be able to “carry on” in way that I can live up to the legacy of my grandparents and in a way pleasing to God, as I know that would be my grandparents’ and parents’ greatest desire for their posterity.